There is nothing wrong with Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR). The stock is temporarily underperforming as traders are practicing their conviction that they must sell when a firm finances through dilution. The traders practice this law of thumb regardless of whether the financing aims at bringing wealth or invites for a catastrophe. We believe Nektar is walking the road towards creating wealth and growth through continued development of breakthrough products.
Traders started selling NKTR the moment the firm announced underwritten public offering of $175.5 million in aggregate gross proceeds, or 13,000,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $13.50 per share. Nektar has also granted to the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,950,000 shares of common stock at the offering price.
J.P. Morgan is acting as lead book-running manager in the offering. Jefferies and Piper Jaffray are acting as book-running managers. William Blair is acting as lead manager for the offering, and Brean Capital, BTIG, Janney Montgomery Scott, Ladenburg Thalmann and ROTH Capital Partners are acting as co-managers for the offering.
Why the offering?
Nektar intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes including research and development funding and working capital.
The securities described above are being offered by Nektar pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement, including a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus, copies of which may be obtained from the offices of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, attention Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York, NY 11717, or telephone: 866-803-9204.
Of course the firm’s press release does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor will there be any sale of these securities in any state or other jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
We consider Nektar a scientifically solid firm with a rich pipeline of products that attracted pharmaceutical companies to the firm’s proprietary science and technology. Products created using Nektar technology have been approved and successfully marketed.
As we wrote in the Prohost Letter $399 part 1, the power of this firm resides in its smart polymer chemistry, which handed a unique capability designing new molecular entity therapeutics, which improved the treatment of diseases. Polimer chemistry created a smart pharmacology enabling the therapeutics to hit the right location in the right target at the right time.
Nektar’s product pipeline comprises drug candidates for pain, infection, cancer immunotherapy, other targeted drugs for cancer and for inflammatory diseases.
Its immunotherapy product NKTR-214 is exciting. Many, including us believe that it could become a game changer in cancer immunotherapy when used alone and in combination with other immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitors.
NKTR-214’ early promising results, attracted MD Anderson Cancer Center to collaborate with Nektar in Phase 1/2 clinical research, which aimed at evaluating the immunotherapy product in treating a variety of tumor types as a monotherapy and in combination with the checkpoint inhibitors drugs. Yale University is also conducting trials with the drug on a variety of cancers, including colorectal cancer.
Read more about this firm in prohost Letter #399 part 3, which subscribers can find at www.prohostbiotech.com
A Final Word: Traders selling the stock because of financing will not mislead us into abandoning our conviction that this firm will have a great future and that the near-term good news we expect will emerge from the trials of its investigational promising drugs will boost the stock in the near-term in stabilized market conditions.
Agenus Contribution to the Success of Shingles Vaccine
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced the publication in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) of detailed results from a randomized phase 3 study (ZOE-70) of its investigational shingles vaccine, Shingrix™. As we see in the following press release, the vaccine developed by GSK has shown statistically significant safety and efficacy.
It is to note, though, that contributing to this success is Agenus’ (AGEN) adjuvant QS-21 Stimulon®, which is incorporated in GSK proprietary AS01 adjuvant system.
The studies showed that the two-dose candidate shingles vaccine had 90% efficacy compared to placebo in people over 70 years old. Vaccine efficacy was maintained across the various age groups included in the study, ranging between 90% and 89% in those aged 80 years and above.
A pooled analysis of data from two trials showed the vaccine demonstrated 91% efficacy against shingles in adults aged 70 years and older compared to placebo. This efficacy was maintained with an 88% reduction in the risk of shingles in the fourth year after vaccination.
The vaccine has also shown to reduce the risk of subsequent chronic neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is the most common, and often severe, complication of shingles. The candidate vaccine was shown to be 89% efficacious in preventing PHN in people aged 70 years and older and 91% efficacious in people aged 50 years and over.
Safety: The risk of serious adverse events, potential immune-mediated diseases or deaths observed in ZOE-70 was similar in people receiving Shingrix and placebo. The most commonly reported local adverse reaction was pain at the injection site and the most frequently reported systemic adverse reaction was fatigue. The majority of injection site and systemic reactions occurred within seven days of vaccination, with most lasting 1-3 days, and generally were mild-to-moderate in intensity.
Good news for GSK and for AGEN’s Adjuvant, QS-21 Stimulon®, which is used in other preventive and therapeutic investigational vaccines in late phase trials.
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